Document Automation and Data Compliance

Document Automation and Data Compliance

Data Automation Data Compliance image

We recently published a blog entitled “Am I Stuck With Document Automation Vendor X?” – in it we looked at the key attributes and functional considerations when moving to another Document Automation vendor. In this post, I’d like to place focus on the area of Data Portability and Compliance. Knowing your rights and your Clients’ rights is important, whether it’s for your cell phone contract, car repayments, or a store card. Your rights are what protects us all and makes civilisation…. well, civil.

Knowledge is king, however data trumps knowledge. Without data we have no knowledge; the ability to determine right from wrong, good versus evil. Data is growing exponentially and we are all reliant on it. As we collect more and more data there is an ever increasing need to protect it. Protecting data is not easy when you consider that you need to account for all known and unknown threats (including accidental misuse), to the data you hold. There is nothing that will topple a business faster than data ‘going rogue’ after it’s not been protected.

With rules and regulations around the world trying to keep up with all the different ways that data is captured, stored and used, it’s all too easy to overlook something. Fortunately, Regulations tend to be binary, and are not that interested in whether a company forgot to test, didn’t think to test, or ignored testing.

Data Portability protects Clients and helps organisations. Clients should be able to move to another service provider without hindrance and without losing their personal data. This helps ensure companies don’t use ‘underhand’ techniques to make moving difficult. If you offer a better service, Clients should easily be able to move their business to you.

However, the Data Portability section of regulations are also about the ‘Right to have Data Corrected’ and the ‘Right to be Forgotten’.

In another post we looked at the three fundamental uses for Document Automation. At least two of these involve Client data which means an organisation using Document Automation for these purposes should be confident they have data management tools that support Data Portability, the ‘Right to Rectification’, and the ‘Right to Erasure’ – a good Document Automation solution should contain these tools.

If they haven’t already, your Clients will soon ask you to evidence your obligations towards protecting their data. Procurement documents make it too easy for a simple, “of course we comply with local data regulations”, copy and paste answer. Being able to evidence your adherence might help you stand out from the competition. It may also save your business.

It’s worth revisiting my earlier comment – it’s not enough to claim ignorance. You should always be confident your chosen Document Automation platform has these tools and they work. The easiest path to validate the functionality is to ask the solution vendor to demonstrate it to you.

If they can’t or won’t evidence basic data management and adherence to globally recognised standards, you must ask; what other corners are being ’rounded off’, and what other standards are being ignored?

In our testing of Document Automation platforms, we always look to validate these abilities. While it would be reasonable to assume that all Document Automation solutions would have such a fundamental capability, the reality is we’ve discovered some don’t, and as a result we can’t recommend them.

If you already have Document Automation, when did you last check the platform supported your compliance? If you’re looking at adopting Document Automation, make sure that critical question is at the top of your list.